Kettering schools give 9-year-old ‘stiffest penalty possible’ after gun incident

A 9-year-old boy has been expelled for a year — “the stiffest penalty possible” — after officials said he admitted to bringing a loaded gun to a Kettering elementary school.

Kettering City Schools said Tuesday the decision came after the district’s student services supervisor completed due process and a hearing for the student, who was suspended from John F. Kennedy Elementary School last week.

The district cited a section in its policy stating administrators “shall expel a student from school for a period of one year for bringing a firearm or knife capable of causing serious bodily injury.”

There is “no more serious infraction of our student rules than one in which the safety and security of our schools, and the students and staff members in those schools, are compromised,” Superintendent Scott Inskeep said in a district statement.

“Our board policy is very clear in terms of the disciplinary consequences for anyone who brings a weapon into our schools,” he added. “The district has meted out the stiffest penalty possible for this infraction, as spelled out in board policy and state law.”

Evidence in the case has been presented to prosecutors, Kettering police said. The child has not been identified publicly, and the Dayton Daily News has not been able to speak with the family or their attorney.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. “takes these types of cases very seriously,” spokesman Greg Flannagan said Tuesday in an email.

But “based on the facts and circumstances of this case, including the young age of the juvenile,” the case will be referred to the Juvenile Court 10-and-under program “with a number of conditions placed on the child and the parent,” he added.

If those conditions are not met, a delinquency charge will be filed with the court, Flannagan said.

After the school day Feb. 22, the gun was found by police inside the student’s locker with its chamber pulled back, records show.

“There were rounds inside the firearm, and the magazine … was inserted inside the weapon,” according to a Kettering police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

The Sig Sauer P365 9mm handgun was tested by police Feb. 23 and found to be “in good working order,” according to the report.

Kettering school officials called the issue “an extremely concerning event” and initially suspended the student for 10 days and recommended him for expulsion.

The gun was described by police as “a pink camo firearm.”

JFK staff told police that the student was no longer at the Polen Drive building about 3:25 p.m. Feb. 22, when the pistol was reported to police, records show.

A staff member told police that another student told his parents about the gun after the 9-year-old showed it to him, the KPD report states.

The student who was shown the gun didn’t report it to his teacher because “he was scared (the 9-year-old) would hurt him,” according to the report.

The student then told school staff that he believed the gun was still in the locker, the report states.

When a JFK staff member first saw the gun, she thought it wasn’t real because of its color. But she picked it up “and as soon as she noticed it was heavy and could see rounds in the chamber she immediately put the weapon down,” according to the KPD report.

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